The Big Game

March 17, 2011
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It was Max’s junior year and his third year playing football. He knew he wasn’t the best on the team but he still had a very important part to play. This was the biggest game of the year; it was the second round of state playoffs. Max’s team was the Cougars and they had the opportunity to play in Martin stadium at WSU against the number 1 team in the state which was the Bulldogs. Max was extremely excited and knew he had to play his best.

Before the game the Cougars got to look at some of WSU’s athletic facilities. They all thought the facilities were awesome but knew it was time to get serious and think about the game. Max was starting to get nervous as he was getting ready but was still really excited to play. The Cougars lined up in two lines and walked through the tunnel and started their pre-game warm up. You could see the excitement in everybody’s eyes.

Finally its game time! Everybody lined up as the announcer called out the Cougars starting offense. Max was starting wide receiver and felt great having his name announced in the stadium. Then everybody lined up on the sidelines for the National Anthem. After the anthem was done it was time to play! Cougars were receiving, and Max was one of the blockers. The kicker for the Bulldogs kicked the ball long and high way over Max’s, he backed up a little then started moving forward as he looked for his first target. Then he spotted his first threat and ran towards him, and as soon as he was close enough he jammed him up with his arms just long enough for the ball carrier to get past, but he was soon hit by another opponent.

“So far so good”, Max thought as he jogged to his position for the first offensive series. He lined up on the line and waited for the play to be called. Once it was called he looked at his arm band to look at his job for that play. His route was a go! All he had to do was run straight as fast as possible. Slap! He heard the ball hit the quarter backs hands. Max took off as fast as he could and got past his defender but the ball was thrown the other way and was intercepted by the one of the linebackers and ran back for a touchdown. First play and Cougars were already down by 7. So the kickoff return team came out again. Once gain Max made his block and the ball carrier got a few extra yards. Now it was offense again and Max’s job was to block for one of the receivers. The ball was hiked I heard the crashing of the lineman. Max took one step forward then turned and headed straight for the guy he had to block. He put his shoulder down and hit him just like he was supposed to but the receiver dropped the ball and no yards were gained. Max felt like they weren’t getting anywhere and really needed to try harder! The next play was a reverse coming to his side his block was very important. Again slap! The ball was hiked all the linemen collided with each other. Max exploded off the line and went for his guy, he spotted him and headed towards him. The guy was big, strong and a very good player. The opponent tried going inside to make the tackle but Max turned inside too and jammed him up with a loud thud as he hit his shoulder pads. The block was perfect and Max felt relieved that he didn’t miss his block. But even though his block was good the Cougars still didn’t get enough yards for the first down so it was Bulldogs ball.

Ok time for defense Max thought as he lined up as outside linebacker. The Bulldogs were big, fast and hard to stop. The ball was hiked he looked for the ball, there it was he thought coming his way he pursued the ball carrier then all of a sudden bam! He was blindsided by one of their big blockers and knocked out of the way. Luckily someone else got the tackle not too far down the field. Again everybody lined up and then the ball was hiked and all you heard was the grunting and banging of the lineman. The ball went the opposite way of him, so he just jogged to the other side in case everyone else missed, but they didn’t. So once again they lined up and the ball was snapped, it came his way again he moved forward and saw a lead blocker coming out to hit him. So he dove at his legs knocking him over to let someone else get a clear shot at the tackle. Even though Max did his job his coaches wished he would have gone for the tackle. The next play the Bulldogs threw a 10 yard pass for a touchdown. The Cougars are now down by 14 and its not looking to good for them. Offense came again and the Cougars ended up turning the ball over again. So they lined up for defense. This time Max had a blitz call, so as soon as that ball was snap he exploded through the line! Nobody blocked him and he was headed for the quarter back, who was rolling out. This was his chance he thought but all of a sudden the quarter back had a step on him and was out of his reach. Max then dove to for the tackle but missed. He felt like crap for ruining his one chance of doing something great. But got up and got ready for the next play. The next play the Bulldogs then scored again without any trouble.

It was almost the end of the game and Max and everybody else knew it was over and the Cougars weren’t going to win but they at least had to score. Max was going out for another route, he sprinted off the line as fast as possible went five yards up and then crossed the field he was open the ball came his way. He was so excited he was getting the ball! As soon as the ball got to him he tried running before catching the ball completely and dropped it. He shook his head jogging back to his spot very disappointed in his mistake. The next play was the reverse coming his way again. He was hoping for another great block like the beginning of the game but it didn’t happen. The opponent went inside again but this time he was quicker and beat Max and made the tackle. Now Max was very disappointed in himself he knew he was better than that. Ok this was the last play of the game and the last chance for the Cougars to score. All of the receivers had go’s! The ball was snapped and every guy exploded off the line! It was the last play so everybody was going their hardest. Max went 15 yards then turned and looked for the ball hoping it was coming his way, but it was going to the other side of the field. But it didn’t matter because the Cougars best receiver caught it and ran it in for the touchdown. They lost but at least they put points up on the board. Max wasn’t too thrilled about the way he played at all. He knew he could have played better and not made so many mistakes. He thought even if he would have fixed a couple of things, the game could have ended differently. Max talked to the coach and all he had to say was “Sometimes it’s all about the details and if you do the details right. You will be a great athlete!” Max thought about it and decided the only thing he could do now was practice and perfect the details for next year. And that’s what he did.

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